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AAPG Annual Convention and Exhibition

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Professionalism and Ethics in Geology: Use It or Lose It!


Almost all geologists think of themselves as scientists. Unfortunately, far fewer seem to think of themselves also as professionals. This thinking constitutes an unrecognized career handicap. Geology is both a science and a profession. A science pertains to accumulated systematized knowledge. A profession pertains to a special occupation, often for monetary gain. Petroleum geology is an occupation that requires specialized knowledge and academic preparation. Ethics is a discipline of basically dealing with what is right and wrong. Ethical people are thought of as having good behavior and doing things the proper way, every time. Ethical behavior is associated with high moral principles, desire of individuals for a good reputation, enhancement of productivity, fear of sanction, demands of society, and requirements of professional affiliations. AAPG code of ethics has general principles that each member agrees to follow. Professional obligations include honesty, integrity, loyalty, fairness, impartiality, candor, fidelity to trust, and inviolability of confidence. Some of the professional purposes of AAPG is to inspire in the membership a high standard of business ethics, personal honor, and professional conduct.